Sunday, February 14, 2016

First Sunday of Lent
To be honest, there was a time when I inwardly rebelled at the length of Lent, six weeks or 40 days. It seemed to me that Advent, my favorite liturgical season, was only four weeks, a time of joyful expectation of Christmas. So, why make Lent, with its heavy emphasis on self-denial and contrition, a longer period? Is it a sort of masochism for the Church to dwell on that which hurts?
I think (and hope!) that I have now come to a more mature appreciation of Lent and its connection to Jesus’ own 40 days of fasting and prayer in the desert, which we hear about in this Sunday’s Gospel reading. If Jesus, who was without sin, felt a need for disciplining His human nature, how much greater is that need for us?
It is significant, I believe, that the temptations that the devil or power of evil held out to Jesus are similar to temptations that we ourselves encounter, perhaps on a more or less regular basis: over-indulgence of our appetites, undue desire or lust for possessions and power, etc. We surely need to be strengthened, as was Jesus, through prayer, discipline and the help of God’s Holy Spirit, in order to resist and overcome such temptations.  So, Lent can be a spiritually salutary time for all of us. 
Come, Holy Spirit, come and lead us and guide us on our Lenten journey, so that like Jesus, we may overcome any power of evil that comes our way. 
Fr. Ray Doherty, S.S.E. 51,  Campus Minister
First Reading: Deuteronomy 26:4-10
Psalm 91:1-2, 10-15
Second Reading:  Romans 10:8-13
Gospel: Luke 4:1-13

Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website






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